New Brunswick

Pigeon Hill teen who taught herself piano during cancer treatment dies

A Pigeon Hill teenager who was reunited with the baby grand piano that brought her comfort during more than a year of chemotherapy and radiation treatments died Friday.

In a surprise gift before Christmas, Émelie Holmes-David was granted her wish for a special piano

Émelie Holmes-David, who received a baby grand piano in December as a gift organized by the Children's Wish Foundation, died Friday. (Serge Bouchard/Radio Canada)

A  Pigeon Hill teenager who was reunited with the baby grand piano that brought her comfort during more than a year of chemotherapy and radiation treatments died Friday.

Émelie Holmes-David was 15. 

At 14, Emelie was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer of the soft tissue, and began a rigorous treatment program that included 53 weeks of chemotherapy and 12 weeks of radiation.

Days before Christmas, the Children's Wish Foundation granted Holmes-David's wish and delivered a baby grand piano to her home in Pigeon Hill on the Acadian Peninsula. It was the piano she had taught herself to play on while undergoing treatment.

On Friday, Alain Bissonnette, the principal of École communautaire l'Étincelle, the school Holmes-David had attended, wrote in French on the school's Facebook page: "It was with sadness that we learned of the death of our former student Émelie Holmes David this morning after a long battle with cancer. Our sympathies to the whole family." 

Holmes David is survived by her parents and a brother and sister.

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